New Assessor Criticized for Continuing Nepotism

Joe Berrios hires sister, daughter and son

Wednesday, Dec 8, 2010  |  Updated 10:30 PM CDT
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New Assessor Criticized for Continuing Nepotism

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Joe Berrios

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Just days after being sworn in, Cook County Assessor Joe Berrios is once again being criticized for hiring family members.

His son, Joey Berrios, is a residential analyst with a salary of $48,000 a year. His sister, Carmen Cruz, will earn $86,000 as Director of Taxpayer Services. His daughter, Vanessa, will keep her $58,000 per year job after being hired by Berrios' predecessor more than 10 years ago.

"Everyone has a right to work for government," Berrios said Wednesday, according to the Chicago Tribune.

Berrios said he trusts his relatives and said they're the most qualified for the job.
 

"Obviously, he doesn’t give a damn, does he?" said Illinois Campaign for Political Reform spokeswoman Cindi Canary, according to the Chicago Sun-Times.  "Yes, he won the election, but it’s been abundantly clear that the voters in Cook County are getting wary of this nepotism."

Berrios has faced criticism in the past for hiring family members when he worked for the County Board of Review.

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